FEMS microbiology letters

Presence of psychrotolerant phenanthrene-mineralizing bacterial populations in contaminated soils from the Greenland High Arctic.

PMID 20199573


Fuel-contaminated soils from Station Nord (St. Nord) in Greenland were sampled with the aim of assessing the intrinsic attenuation potential by quantifying the presence and activity of degradative microbial populations using phenanthrene as a model compound. Mineralization of [(14)C]phenanthrene to (14)CO(2) was measured in contaminated soils at temperatures down to 0 degrees C and sizable naphthalene-, undecane-, biphenyl- and phenanthrene-degrading populations were measured by microplate-based most-probable-number analysis. Cloning and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, focused on the dominant phenanthrene-degrading bacteria, revealed strains related to bacteria previously found in cold and contaminated environments. Overall, we provide evidence for the presence and potential activity of phenanthrene-degrading bacteria in polluted St. Nord soils and this study is the first to indicate an intrinsic bioremediation potential in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from the Greenland High Arctic.